Sunday, September 19

Aid in store for Sukma silat gold medallist


KUCHING: A Sukma silat gold medallist Olivia Chong who was reported to live in a dilapidated house together with her family in Kapit will receive assistance soon.

Assistant Minister for Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said although there was a ‘means test’ to see if one was eligible for government housing projects, ‘one who has brought fame to the state or nation would definitely carry much weight for approval’.

“We will try to assist all needy families as much as possible including those who have brought fame to the state. But we have to be practical and rational in matters like this.

“If gold medallists are assisted, what about silver or bronze medallists and those who have trained for years to represent the state, but could not get any medal,” Abdul Karim wrote in his Whatsapp.

Abdul Karim, who is also Assistant Minister for Housing, said it was not right to always equate medals with ‘must help’ situation by the government.

It was mentioned that Olivia, 19, who also won a Sukma silver medal in Perlis two years ago, was living in a rented wooden house at Jalan Airport, Kapit with her parents and three other siblings.

During a surprise visit to the family recently, Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar James Masing, said the government should help Olivia and her family.

Besides helping the family with a temporary occupation licence (TOL) to build a house of their own, Masing also contributed a grant of RM5,000, while Bukit Goram assemblyman Jefferson Jamit Unyat and Pelagus assemblyman Wilson Nyabong Ijang contributed RM3,000 each.